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  • Author or Editor: Shawn A. Mehlenbacher x
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The cutleaf hazelnut [Corylus avellana L. f. heterophylla (Loud.) Rehder] is grown as an ornamental for its distinct leaf shape. Its leaves are slightly smaller, more deeply lobed, and more sharply toothed than those of standard hazelnut cultivars. When the cutleaf hazelnut was crossed with cultivars with normal leaves, all seedlings had normal leaves. When seedlings were backcrossed to their cutleaf parent, half of the seedlings expressed the cutleaf trait, and when crossed with each other in pairs, 25% of the seedlings were cutleaf. These segregation ratios indicate that the cutleaf trait is conferred by a single recessive gene for which the symbol cf is proposed. Progenies segregating simultaneously for leaf shape and color indicate that the cutleaf locus is independent of the locus controlling red leaf color and of the locus controlling a chlorophyll deficiency, which appears to be identical to that previously observed in seedlings of `Barcelona'.

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Abstract

Inheritance of growth habit was studied in F1, F2, and backcross progenies of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch ‘Com-Pact Redhaven’]. Segregation ratios indicate that compact growth habit is conditioned by a single dominant allele, for which ‘Compact Redhaven’ is heterozygous. The symbol Ct is proposed for this locus.

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U.S. hazelnut production, concentrated in Oregon, is threatened by eastern filbert blight and all currently grown cultivars are susceptible. Resistant cultivars offer the best control method. Field screening for resistance takes 2 years for symptom expression. The goal of this study was to develop a rapid and reliable screen; to confirm that resistance in `Gasaway' is conferred by a single dominant gene: and to investigate inheritance in seedlings of the resistant cultivar `Gem'. Nine controlled crosses made in 1987 and 1988 were screened in the greenhouse in 1992 and 1993. Three trees of each genotype were inoculated and scored for presence or absence of the fungus using either stained tissue sections or ELISA within 6 to 12 months. Progenies of `Vancouver Resistant' parents (resistant progeny of `Gasaway') segregated 1 resistant: 1 susceptible and from resistant × resistant parents segregated 3 resistant:1 susceptible in agreement with the single gene hypothesis. Seedlings of `Gem' were all susceptible.

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The style color of standard hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) cultivars ranges from pink to dark purple. Styles with an unusual yellow color were first noted in seedlings of the progeny `Goodpasture' × `Compton', and the ratio was ≈3 red: 1 yellow. Controlled crosses were made to investigate the genetic control of style color. The same 3:1 ratio was observed in four additional crosses in which both parents had red styles. Two crosses of a red and a yellow parent gave ≈50% yellow styles, while a cross of two selections with yellow styles gave only seedlings with yellow styles. These segregation ratios indicate control by a single locus, with yellow style color recessive to red. Seedlings with yellow styles have green buds and catkins and a more upright growth habit than their siblings with red styles. Inspection of the pedigrees of these progenies shows that `Daviana', `Willamette', `Butler', `Compton', `Goodpasture', and `Lansing #1' are heterozygous. `Daviana' appears to be the original source of the allele for yellow styles, as it is a known or suspected parent or ancestor of the others. Ratios in a progeny segregating simultaneously for growth habit (normal vs. contorted) and style color indicated independence of the traits. However, in a progeny segregating simultaneously for leaf color (red vs. green) and style color, no redleaf seedlings had yellow styles. The S-alleles of eight genotypes with yellow styles were determined, and indicate a possible linkage between the yellow style locus and the S locus that controls pollen-stigma incompatibility. One explanation is that the yellow style trait is conferred by an allele (a ys) at the anthocyanin (A) locus that controls leaf color. A second explanation is that there is a yellow style locus closely linked to the A locus. The A locus is known to be loosely linked to the S locus.

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Eastern filbert blight (EFB) (Anisogramma anomala) is a serious disease of the European hazelnut (Coryls avellana). A single dominant gene for immunity to EFB from C. avellana `Gasaway' is being combined with good nut and kernel traits using a modified backcross approach. Additional sources of resistance would be highly desirable. Clones and seedlings of six other species (C. columa, C. comuta, C. heterophylla, C. sieboldiana, C. amencana, and C. jaquemontii] and a few interspecific hybrid selections were screened in the greenhouse to identify new sources of resistance. C. jacquemontii seedlings and C. columa clones were highly susceptible. C. comuta, C. hetemphylla, and C. sieboldiana clones were resistant, as were 86% of the C. americana seedlings tested. Five C. americana × C. avellana hybrids from New York were resistant under field conditions. One of four C. comuta × C. avellana and two of three C. hetemphylla × C. avellana hybrids were resistant.

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Laboratory freezing tests were conducted for two consecutive winters to determine the cold hardiness (CH) of hazelnut trees (Corylus).Thirty-six different genotypes were evaluated. LT50s were calculated for female inflorescences, catkins and vegetative buds. Most (> 70%) female flowers achieved their maximum hardiness in January. Nearly half (45 %) of all female flowers had LT50s between -38.0 C and -21.4 C. Catkins were most hardy in December after which they began to elongate and lose their CH. In December, catkin CH ranged from -33.0 to -13.4 C. Vegetative buds were more hardy than both female flowers and catkins. LT50s ranged from, -40.0 to -26.8 C with 95% achieving maximum CH in January. More than half (54%) had LT50s between -30.0 and -20.0 C. In summary, vegetative buds are more CH than female buds which in turn are more hardy than catkins.

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The contorted hazel, Corylus avellana `Contorta', is an ornamental tree prized for its grotesquely twisted trunk and branches. `Contorta' was discovered in a hedgerow in England about 1863 and has been commercially propagated by layerage or graftage because it was thought to not breed true from seed. We investigated the inheritance of contorted growth habit in the course of our work breeding hazelnuts. Crosses between normal growth habit cultivars and `Contorta' produce all normal seedlings. Sib matings of compatible normal seedlings of `Contorta' produce offspring in the proportion of 3 normal: 1 contorted. The backcross of a normal `Contorta' seedling to `Contorta' gives progeny in the ratio of 1 normal: 1 contorted, indicating control of the trait by a single recessive gene.

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